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Paleo Diet Primal Is Your Deodorant Toxic Antiperspirant spray-min

Is Your Deodorant Toxic?

When you put so much care and effort into your Paleo nutrition and fitness, are you equally aware of the health and beauty products you use, like your deodorant?

Deodorant and antiperspirant are something most people use – and apply directly onto their skin every day, but is commercial deodorant safe?

Shop brought deodorants often contain parabens – a chemical that has been associated with cancers. Deodorants often also contain aluminium, which is used to stop perspiration – but has been linked to dementia, brain disorders and breast cancer.

It is also common for deodorants to contain alcohol, which can be drying for some skin types.
While aluminium free and paraben free deodorants are available, these can still come with added alcohols or other chemicals that could build up in the body. There are many natural deodorants available, for example made from crystal stones. However – you could make your own natural alternative!

Deodorant For Women

Ingredients:

  • Five teaspoons of distilled witch hazel
  • 5mls (0.17 fluid ounces) of vitamin E oil
  • 10 – 20 drops of geranium essential oil
  • 10 – 20 drops of ylang ylang essential oil
  • 5 drops of clary sage
  • One small spritzer bottle

Directions:

Add the witch hazel into a small mixing bowl and then add in the vitamin E oil and blend it together using the end of a pipette, a teaspoon, or a small wooden spatula.

Next add the essential oils and remember to build them gradually until you have the desired scent. Once ready, pour into the spritzer body and use when need. This can be stored in the fridge for a cooling effect.

Deodorant for Men

Ingredients:

  • 5 teaspoons of distilled witch hazel
  • 10 – 20 drops of sandalwood essential oil
  • 10 – 20 drops of pine essential oil
  • 5mls (0.17 fluid ounces) of vitamin E oil
  • One small spritzer bottle

Follow the directions for the deodorant for women.

If preferred, just use the sandalwood essential oil on its own.

Solid Deodorant

Warning: Take care when heating and pouring the cocoa butter to ensure it doesn’t get on your hands as it will be extremely hot.

Ingredients:

  • 30g (1.05 ounce) of cocoa butter or shea butter
  • Essential oils as listed in the above recipes
  • 5mls of vitamin E oil
  • Square soap mould or massage bar mould

Directions:

Melt the butter in a saucepan by lightly heating it on a hob or in a microwave oven until melted.

Stir in the vitamin E oil and then added in the essential oils.

Pour the mix into soap or massage bar mould. For a smooth bar, use a soap mould.

Leave the bar to cool overnight and it will be ready to use the next morning.

Bicarbonate of soda can also be used for a simple, effective deodorant.

Note: Pregnant women should take advice before using essential oils.

Do you use commercial deodorant or antiperspirant – or perhaps you go without entirely? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this – and whether you’d try making a natural alternative – in the comments below.

Paleo Diet Primal Is Your Deodorant Toxic Antiperspirant spray-min

How to season cast iron cookware skillet pan paleo diet primal

How to season cast iron cookware

If you were lucky enough to get your hands on a cast iron frying pan for Christmas this guide will tell you exactly how to season and look after it to make sure it does the job and lasts for a long time. If you haven’t got any cast iron cookware, it’s definitely worth looking out for second-hand. So long as it has no cracks or chips it will be as good as new once you clean and season it.

After having bought so many cheap pans, only for them to fall apart soon after, I’ve found cast iron so much more durable. They also distribute the heat really evenly, so they’re great to cook in. The other huge plus – is no Teflon. What happens to that stuff when it starts to flake off in your dinner…?

If you find everything sticks to your cast iron pan, you’ve probably not seasoned it properly.
How to season cast iron cookware skillet pan paleo diet primal

How to season your cast iron cookware

Seasoning (also known as curing) just means filling up all the tiny holes and craters in the surface of the iron with grease/ oil to leave a smooth continuous non-stick surface.

If your pan isn’t non-stick, is rusty or hasn’t been seasoned yet, you’ll need to start by thoroughly cleaning the cast iron pan with a hot soapy water (this is fine to do before you season it, but not after).

I used lard to season my cast iron pan, but coconut oil should work well too. Firstly rub the oil all over the pan, but just lightly. Then rub off the oil with a paper towel.

Next, put the pan upside down in the oven (make sure you have a large tray on the bottom shelf to catch any drips). The oven will need to be at about 250 C (450F) and this stage will take about half an hour. Then, take the pan out of the oven and allow it to cool. You’ll want to repeat this process 3 or 4 times.

When you cook in your pan, you’re repeating this process, since the fats in your cooking will be continuing to fill any tiny holes in the surface again.

Do you cook with cast iron? How do you find it? Is this the method you use to season your cookware?

40 Top Paleo Recipes - Quick and Easy Paleo Diet Recipes

Why you must wash your pre-washed salad

If you buy a pre-washed ready to eat bag of salad leaves, do you tip straight out onto a plate – or do you thoroughly wash it first? The whole idea of bagged salad mixes is convenience, so it’s no surprise most people don’t wash.

40 Top Paleo Recipes - Quick and Easy Paleo Diet Recipes

But how do they wash the salad before they bag it? Well it turns out diluted chlorine is commonly used. The chlorine is used to kill any harmful bacteria to ensure the lettuce is safe for our consumption. Seemingly even organic produce is allowed to use a weak chlorine solution for this purpose. Whilst there is supposed to be no trace of the chlorine 24 hours after treatment, do you trust your salad to be chemical free?

With outbreaks of e-coli and salmonella, it’s not surprising the salad growers are keen to sanitise their product. With salad available all year round the pressure is on to produce a cheap product – often meaning growers don’t provide sanitary conditions for their workers – hence the contamination risk. Unfortunately sanitising salad doesn’t remove the risk of contamination, it just makes it less likely.

So what’s the answer? If pre-washed salad could still be contaminated and could contain traces of chlorine is it worth paying the price premium?

Wash your own

A far better option is to spend a fraction of the cost buying fresh, unpackaged greens. Get rid of any wilted, torn or bruised leaves and let them sit in a sink full of ice cold water for 20 minutes. Use a salad spinner to get rid of the water and roll in paper towels to get the rest of the water out. If you store in plastic bags with paper towels to absorb any remaining water, they should remain fresh for over a week in the fridge.

How to you wash yours?

Why You Should Get Rid of Your Microwave radiation safety paleo diet healthy-min

Why You Should Get Rid of Your Microwave!

Microwaves – probably one of the most celebrated and widely used 20th century inventions in the western world. The chances are, even if you don’t use it, you’ll have one in your house and office. They’re quick and convenient, but they pose all sorts of health risks, and are best avoided at all costs. But just what is it that’s so bad about them?

They’re radioactive, and mess with your heart rate and blood cells

On average, microwaves produce 2.4 GHz radiation, which can have serious impacts on your body. A study by Dr. Magda Havas of Trent University has shown that this amount of radiation can cause ‘immediate and drastic’ changes to your heart rate. Another study by Dr. Hans Hertel shows that this radiation alters the balance of red and white blood cells. Research also indicates that microwave radiation can lead to blood sugar spikes connected with diabetes in susceptible individuals.

They zap nutrients right out of your food

Due to the dielectric heating of foods when cooked in a microwave, a startling amount of the nutrients are lost in the ‘cooking’ process. Studies have shown an approximate 40% drop in the levels of vitamin B12 in meat when heated in a microwave as opposed to traditional methods. Even more shockingly, broccoli was found to lose up to 97% of its antioxidants when microwaved, as opposed to just 11% when steamed. As the Paleo diet focuses on eating clean, nutrient dense foods, microwaving doesn’t make much sense does it?

Why You Should Get Rid of Your Microwave radiation safety paleo diet healthy-min

They transfer carcinogens into food

If you reheat your food in any kind of plastic wrap, or even in a plastic tub, all sorts of chemicals can leak into your meal. In a study by the Russian government, levels of BPA, polyethylene terephthalate (PET), benzene, toluene, and xylene were discovered in microwaved food.

And it’s not just the food itself you need to worry about..

Perhaps most shockingly of all, as microwaves are supposedly ‘safe’ to use in the home – they can leak radiation and electromagnetic emissions directly into your kitchen. You wouldn’t eat your food in an electromagnetic power plant, so why put yourself in the same danger in your kitchen?

Our hectic lives mean that sometimes we just don’t have the time to prepare healthy, delicious meals for the whole family every evening. Sometimes, meal planning and cooking food in large batches is one of the best ways of saving time whilst ensuring every one eats healthily. But what if you want to reheat that food? Personally, when I’m batch cooking, I tend to mainly make stews, curries, casseroles, even soups. These are really easy to reheat using a traditional saucepan and stove, and can be ready in minutes. Also, I tend to peel and chop my veggies when I have the time so they are ready to roast, boil or steam when I want them. I’ll often roast up some sweet potatoes or squash in their skin – and when I want to eat them, I’ll just throw them in a hot oven for five minutes to heat through before peeling. When it comes to meat, I’ll often chop this up and leave it in the fridge ready to cook. Stir fries are a brilliant way to quickly cook your protein, especially if you dice it finely. Steak, Lamb, Salmon and Tuna are also excellent choices if you’re in a rush, as they can (and should!) be eaten rare, so will only take a couple of minutes to cook each side.

What are your thoughts on microwaving food? Is it something you still do or did you give it up along with the grains and sugar?

Homemade Moisturiser Recipe skincare paleo-min

Paleo Skincare – Homemade Moisturiser Recipe

Everyone loves to pamper their skin, and in the colder months a moisturiser can be especially useful help prevent dry, flaking skin caused by cold winds and heating. Unfortunately the many commercial brands of moisturiser seem to come with so many added chemicals. Moisturisers often have harmful chemicals such as parabens added in order to preserve the life of a product. When you’re being so careful to have a clean, natural Paleo diet – the last thing you want to do is let these chemicals soak into your skin.

Homemade Moisturiser Recipe skincare paleo-min

You can use coconut oil on your skin, but if you’re after something a little different, you might like to try making a homemade moisturiser.

The following recipe uses natural ingredients only and is designed to be kind and gentle to the skin, while also nourishing it through all of the seasons. Once set, this moisturiser is harder and firmer than traditional moisturises and can be used as a balm for the lips, elbows and any other areas of the skin with dry patches.

Natural skin moisturiser

Ingredients:

  • 28g (1oz) of Shea Butter
  • 21g (0.75oz) of cosmetic grade beeswax
  • 20 mls of vitamin e oil, wheat germ oil or almond oil
  • Essential oils:
  • For greasy skin ad 10 – 20 drops of tea tree or lavender essential oil
  • For dry skin add 10 – 20 drops of lavender or geranium oil
  • For sensitive/combination skin add 15 – 20 drops of camomile essential oil
  • Storage jar

The more oil added, the stronger it will smell so add the oils gradually first and build up to the desired strength.

NB: Be careful when making this as the beeswax can get very hot; take care not to get it on your skin.

Add the Shea butter to a saucepan and melt it on low on an oven ring or melt in the microwave. Once it has melted, give it a stir and then add the beeswax. Melt the beeswax either on an oven ring or in the microwave. Mix the Shea butter and beeswax together and then add your oil. Stir in your chosen carrier oil and then add the essential oils.

Once it has all blended together, add the mix to a small glass jar. Be careful not to touch the sides of the jar as it will be extremely hot. Leave it in its place to cool down. It is probably best left until the next morning.

Once ready the mixture can be used like a salve to soften skin and moisturise.

NB: Pregnant women should take medical advice before using essential oils.

Are you an insect magnet Paleo Diet Primal natural insect repellent bugs Mosquito bites spray DEET-min

Are You An Insect Magnet? Natural Insect Repellent

I’m on holiday at the moment – and with holidays in the sun, the insects seem to come out. I hate using an artificial insect repellent and covering myself in chemicals. But I also hate being covered in Mosquito bites!

Fortunately, there are some natural alternatives to keep the bugs at bay. Below is a recipe I’ve experimented with for a chemical free insect repellent, that you can make at home.

This spray on insect repellent works well with vitamin E as the vitamin E is nourishing and protecting, and is good for skin that can become thirsty and dry during the summer heat.

Are you an insect magnet Paleo Diet Primal natural insect repellent bugs Mosquito bites spray DEET-min

Natural insect repellent recipe

Ingredients:

  • 10 – 20 drops of citronella essential oil
  • 10 – 20 drops of lemon essential oil
  • 10 – 20 drops of lavender essential oil
  • 5 mls of carrier oil. Choose from Wheat germ, Vitamin E, avocado, calendula, borage or apricot kernel.
  • One small spray bottle or jar for storing the mix.

Add five mls of your chosen carrier oil to the storage jar and then add the oils. The more oils added, the stronger the scent will be. Screw up the lid and shake well to mix. The blend can be massaged onto the skin when needed. If the oil mix is too greasy, then add the oils to a base of distilled witch hazel – you’ll need 3-5 teaspoons.

An alternative way of applying the mix would be too melt 10gs (0.35oz) of Shea butter in a pan and stir in the oils. Once the mix has set and cooled it can be massaged onto the skin in a solid bar form.

The essential oils can also be used individually or alternatively tea tree oil can also be used on its own or in combination with any of the other essential oils listed. However, the scent of tea tree can be rather strong so may not be suited to everyone.

NB: Pregnant women should take medical advice before using essential oils.

Do you have a tip for keep bugs at bay? Do mosquito’s seem to choose you over everyone else? Share your tips and stories below!

Natural alternatives to soap paleo healthcare skincare recipe-min

Natural Alternatives To Soap

So you’re careful to eat a natural paleo diet, but what skincare products do you use? Have you looked at the ingredients in the soap you use?

While soap is considered a necessity by most people for keeping clean, if often comes loaded with chemicals. Soap can also be very drying to a lot of skin types and strips the skin of its natural moisturisers and of its natural defences.

While there are many natural soaps based around essential oils and herbs, there are alternatives to keeping your skin clean without the need for soap.

Essential Oils

For some added fragrance when it comes to bath time, try adding some essential oils to the bath water. Camomile or lavender make an ideal combination if for relaxing, peppermint oils are good for stimulating and lifting your mood, and ylang ylang and geranium essential oils will increase your feeling of well-being.

Natural alternatives to soap paleo healthcare skincare recipe-min

Epsom Salts

Some people find that once they have stopped using soap their skin becomes much drier. For some people this might be temporary, while for others the skin can continue to remain dry. Adding some Epsom salts to a tub of bath water will help soften the skin. Epsom salts are also believed to have many health benefits. The magnesium content helps to relax nerves and muscles and reduce stress. Epsom salts are also thought to reduce toxins in the body and relieve muscle cramps and pain.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is great on the skin – and if you have dry skin, applying coconut oil will certainly help.

Instead of using soap, try filling a muslin cloth with your selected herbs and then add in five to ten drops of essential oils. Tie the muslin cloth to the bath tap and let the aromas spill out.  The muslin cloth can also be used to exfoliate the skin and slough away dead skin cells without the need for an exfoliator, which can be damaging to some skin types.

Do you use a commercial soap, or have you found a more natural alternative? Share your suggestions and recipes in the comments section.

What Has Fukushima Got To Do With You radiation contamination paleo diet natural health-min

What Has Fukushima Got To Do With You?

I’m sure you’re aware of the Fukushima disaster that hit Japan in 2011 – but you might be wondering what it has to do with you?

Following a big earthquake, a tsunami followed, which destroyed the Fukushima Daichi nuclear power plant. This result in almost unimaginable levels of radiation. Whilst a clean up operation is underway, with the levels of radiation, the clean up effort is a drop in the ocean. Several deaths have already occurred due to the radiation that came from the disaster.

What exactly has radiation from the Fukushima disaster done to the food chain, especially fish? Is what you are eating healthy?

Scientists have been tracking the effect of the radiation in fish since the disaster. Radiation has been discovered in fish as far away as California.

What Has Fukushima Got To Do With You radiation contamination paleo diet natural health-min

What are the risks of eating fish with traces of radiation?

Unfortunately this is not an easy question to answer. Nuclear power and environmental health expert Rosalie Bertell said “Should the public discover the true health costs of nuclear pollution, a cry would rise from all parts of the world, and people would refuse to cooperate passively with their own death”.  She also said “Claiming nuclear production of energy is ‘clean’ is like dieting, but stuffing yourself with food between meals”.

One of the problems with quantifying the dangers of radiation like this, is that the half life is so long, the damage will be done for years and years to come. It’s hard to predict today, how much damage the disaster will cause over the next few generations.

How Can You Stay Safe?

It’s really important to know exactly where your food comes from. So much frozen fish is imported from overseas – and unfortunately with the labelling laws in some countries, it can be very difficult to identify which country the fish comes from. Try to buy your fish local – and wild caught if at all possible. When buying seaweeds, make sure you know where they came from. Maine is supposed to be a good place to source seaweed from.

Are you concerned about where your food comes from? How do you avoid eating potentially harmful food like this? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, and on the Fukushima disaster, in the comments below.

Paleo Diet Primal Shampoo No Poo Kombucha SLS Paraben Ingredients Chemicals-min

What’s in Your Shampoo?

As people become more aware of the damaging chemicals contained within everyday products (like shampoo, conditioner, make up and lotions), it is a natural instinct to start looking for natural alternatives – or even making your own products so you know exactly what has gone into them.

Cleansing products we use everyday such as shampoo offer contain sodium laurel sulphate (SLS) and Parabens, which seem to be very damaging, both to our health and the environment.

SLS is a favourite of manufactures, as it helps to make their products lather and form a thick constituency – but it can be very irritating, not to mention toxic. With the skin being our biggest organ, and able to absorb whatever we apply to it, it makes sense to be very cautious about the products you use.

Avoiding Chemical Shampoo

Increasing numbers of people are going “no poo” – that is, going without shampoo entirely. For some, this might be a step too far – in which case, have you considered cleansing your hair with Kombucha?

For a simple, chemical free hair rinse, all you need is some water and some Kombucha. Although it is often drunk as a tea for its health benefits, it also has some beauty applications.

Using Kombucha will give the hair a natural sheen without the need for chemicals, and make it easier to control oily hair.  Kombucha will also make the hair lighter and easier to control.

Paleo Diet Primal Shampoo No Poo Kombucha SLS Paraben Ingredients Chemicals-min

The Kombucha should be diluted with one- two parts water before being used as rinse.

Herbs can be added to the mix to give a delicate scent. Herbs such as camomile and lavender will work well with normal, dry/itchy and oily hair. Camomile will also help to lighten blonde hair. For dark hair, rosemary will work well. The herbs can either be added directly to the hair rinse or lighted boiled first.  When it comes to quantities of herbs, just add a small handful, enough to give some fragrance, but not so much that the herbs swamp the water.

Another way to cleanse the hair naturally is to use baking soda. Just apply the baking soda to a brush and brush it through the same way you would a dry shampoo or wet your hair with a cup of water and then apply the baking soda.

How do you wash your hair – or do you go without? Are you careful to avoid certain ingredients in commercial shampoos and hair care products? Please leave your comments or share your recipes below.

Is your bed bad for your health mattress paleo natural-min

Is Your Bed Bad For Your Health?

Sometimes the simple things that we use in our everyday routine are things that we don’t think twice about – but can be very dangerous. Even more frustrating, when you follow an otherwise health Paleo lifestyle. Have you ever given any thought to the mattress that’s beneath you as you sleep each night?

Mattresses are often made with ployurethane foam (petroleum based material that emits formaldehyde), formalize (which is linked to asthma and lung cancer), and boric acid (roach killer). Formaldehyde is highly toxic and classified as a probable carcinogen. If you have a mattress like this, when you go to bed at night, you are lying in these chemicals. Mattress companies often claim that they have the best mattress – and they mainly focus on comfort. You will see several commercials advertising that their mattress will adjust to your back and help you get a better night sleep, but they never really mention just how clean and non toxic their mattress is, do they?

In 2005 a memory foam mattress was sent in to be inspected and the lab was able to find 61 different chemicals used in the mattress. Comfort doesn’t mean anything if you are lying in a pile of dangerous chemicals.

Is your bed bad for your health mattress paleo natural-min

What are some of the things that these harmful chemicals can cause?

It has been reported that a toxic mattress can cause respiratory problems, reproductive toxicity, allergies, asthma, SIDS, and many more complications. It’s scary to think that going to bed could be a dangerous activity!

Why would companies add these chemicals? They add them because they are flame retardants. In the 60’s, governments insisted that mattresses had to include flame retardants – and they had to pass flammability tests. It wasn’t such a huge problem when they first passed the law, but now companies are using more and more dangerous chemicals. Arlene Blum, a biophysical chemist stated “Instead of adding new fire retardant chemicals that may ultimately be shown to cause health problems, we should be asking whether we need to use these chemicals or if there are other ways to achieve equivalent fire safety.”

The mattresses that are being made today, especially some of the popular memory foam mattresses are considered to be more dangerous than the ones that were made within the past 50 years.

So what can you do about you mattress?

There are some companies that make organic natural mattresses. Before purchasing a mattress you want to triple check what exactly is in it. Some companies claim that they have a natural organic mattress – but are not willing to back it up. Companies have slowly started to realise the dangers that their mattresses are causing and are changing the chemicals that they are putting in mattresses – but this is not happening fast enough.

You are far better off getting a safe organic mattress. There are companies that sell mattresses that are completely natural and toxin free. Organic wool has natural fire resistant properties and it has been successfully used to pass flammability tests.
When you lie down to sleep at night the last thing you need to worry about is if it is safe or not. Night time is when you need to relax both mentally and physically. Don’t let your mattress ruin your health!

What type of mattress do you sleep on? Will you buy an organic mattress when you replace yours?